What Your Favorite Childhood Heroine Says About You

We were pretty inspired by The Hairpin’s take on how your favorite American Girl doll shaped the rest of your life. (Felicity). (I was. Ashley was a Kirsten.) (I also had a Samantha.) (You?) But ultimately, we feel like we know a lot more about you based on whether you were an Eloise or an Anne. Who were you? Find your favorite childhood heroine and let us make all kinds of assumptions about you! And if we forgot yours (we probably did) let us know what it was.

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    • MelbaToast

      Laura! Laura Ingalls Wilder! The real one who wrote the awesome books about her kickass life on the prairie and not the TV one (who is wonderful in her own way)! Free-spirited and adventurous, smart and practical, loved learning, was loyal to her family, faced down bullies and ornery pupils, and got in trouble (but not too much trouble). I loved all pioneer girl heroines in books–Antonia, Caddie Woodlawn, etc, but most of all Laura Ingalls Wilder.

      • porkchop

        Me too! I read the whole series a dozen times, and I still identify with Laura’s veneer of good behavior (although I have always been an indoor girl).

        I also loved Kit from The Witch of Blackbird Pond. SO GOOD. It’s about an English girl in the 1600s who grew up in Barbados and has to move to Connecticut.

    • Eileen

      I had a Felicity doll (and my spoiled ex-close-friend had a Samantha). I also LOVED Anne Shirley. I didn’t have red hair, though – my non-spoiled still-close-friend does.

      And, okay, Artemis was my other hero. Way to rub it in.

      • JeninCanada

        Artemis rocks far harder than anyone gives Her credit for. :) I loved Anne and Nancy, the Babysitter’s Club girls, Jo, and Goldmoon (from the DragonLance Saga) growing up. Smart, strong, funny, loving women.

    • Lauren

      I was a Jo March. I guess I still am because when I decided that in a month I was going to donate my hair to Locks of Love I told my best guy friend that I would be like Jo without the poverty. He didn’t know who Jo was and only understood when I said “Winona Ryder…”

      • Lauren

        Also, my favorite American Girl was Samantha.

    • Katie

      So true! I loved Greek mythology and am now a History major. Hera was my favorite, Aphrodite was overrated.

    • Dove

      I have no idea how popular this book was (certainly not as popular as Little Women or Nancy Drew) but I daydreamed DAILY about being the heroine from The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.

      It sounds like a romance novel but it’s actually about a rich girl on a ship from England to America who goes from spoiled passenger to captain and member of the crew.

      If forced to choose from the list above, I’m definitely a Nancy Drew girl.

      • eileen

        Me too! OMG I loved that book soooo much – and I give copies of it to my little girl cousins/babysittees. *feels so close to The Gloss readers*

    • Lindsay Cross

      So I really liked Alice, from the book, not any of the TV shows or movies. And I’m pretty sure that makes Jen and Ashley my absurd friends. Thinking about it, this fits.

    • Cassie

      What about the Baby Sitters Club?? That was a major literary installation in my childhood. Although – Alice and any number of the Greek goddess caught my fancy far more than Kristi or the other girls.

    • Jennifer Wright

      Does anyone remember that one where she was a witch? She was like a 13 year old witch and she got taken in by a witch and it was in Salem and there was some sort of witchburning going on. I believe the cover was orange. It might have had a bird on it. Please tell me exactly the book I’m thinking of because I loved it, but clearly didn’t love it enough to remember a single other detail about it.

      I think she worked with herbs.

      • LMac

        Witch of Blackbird Pond! She was from Barbados, so she knew how to swim, and she had really bitchin’ silk dresses and hated housework. BUUUUURN HERRRR!

      • E

        The Witch of Blackbird Pond?

      • Jennifer Wright


    • Lindsay Cross

      Another one that I’m not sure anyone knows… The Alanna series by Tamora Pierce. I started reading them at the end of elementary school, or maybe beginning of middle school. I was obsessed. I read them at least a hundred times. It was a girl pretending to be a boy so she could become a knight. Let’s not talk about what that means for my psyche.

      • ellie

        I know those books!

      • Eileen

        I loved those! That is, until she told the prince that she wasn’t going to marry him because he should marry a virgin and instead married that guy she had zero chemistry with.

      • Lindsay Cross

        Oh my Gosh! That infuriated me! Why couldn’t she just say that she didn’t want to marry a whiny piece of shit? That would’ve been better. I even read the second series though, with Daine. Seriously, I was obsessed. I still have my original copies to read to my daughter.

      • Eileen

        It was sad, ’cause I liked the prince in the first book. Or maybe it was the first two books. Then he started to get annoying…but the guy she did marry seemed totally out-of-the-blue. (Prince does get points for thinking the virginity thing was silly)

    • Daantaat

      I always wanted to be Pippi Longstocking and sail around the world having great adventures. She was just so independent and unafraid of anything!

      Then there was Gwendolyn from The Velvet Room. I wanted to be her so bad.

      Barring Pippi and Gwendolyn I would definitely have been Laura from Little House on the Prairie. I was in love with the idea of writing on a slate and carrying my lunch in a pail and going to school in a one-room school house.

      If I had to stick to the list though, it would be Nancy Drew all the way. With the credit card and the convertible and shopping and being smart and pretty and having a handsome and caring boyfriend and a loving and doting father. I’m not sure if that’s the way it really was, but that’s the way I’m going to choose to remember those books.

      • Dove

        I was OBSESSED with the name George for a girl, like Nancy’s best friend/sidekick.

    • Carrie

      Oh. My God – The Boxcar Children. HOW DID I FORGET ABOUT THE BOXCAR CHILDREN???? I owe you big time for reminding me.

    • Kate

      Harriet the Spy, all the way. What does that say about me? That I have too many opinions…

    • Andi

      I was Jo (and Felicity!)…but I was way more Princess Cimorene than anyone else. Anyone remember the Dealing with Dragons series? So much fun!

      • MM

        YES YES YES YES! Cimorene was the best by FAR.

    • Jessica Pauline Ogilvie

      Ramona Quimby, or Madeleine. So cool to roll deep with a bunch of other girls like that and..um…get your appendix out, I think? Either way, if you’re Madeleine you’re in Paris so it’s all good.

    • Lululawschool

      Definitely Ramona Quimby…..otherwise known as Ramona the Pest. I named my cat after her!!!!

    • Shae

      How could we possibly forget Trixie Belden?? I was completely a Trixie.

      (Also, Cimorene. I loved that series.)

    • Arnie

      I owned so many Babysitter’s Club books. I pretty much had an entire shelf devoted to them.

      And I always wanted to be Bessie, from the Faraway Tree books. I never wanted to be Fanny, though, because she had a funny name, and I’d get teased for that.

      The Greek goddesses are kickass. You don’t fuck with them unless you want the shit kicked out of you for the rest of eternity. I was Juno (Technically Roman, thus even more kickass) for a school thing once. Me and Venus bickered over the fates of Aeneas. It was pretty awesome.

    • Lena

      pippi longstocking. because she is clearly awesome.

    • Charley

      So….naming my daughter Eloise might *not* have been such a good idea?

    • JeninCanada

      Nice to see the Goddess aren’t left out/forgotten by all you wonderful literary women!

    • skstroup

      So true, I am a classics major.

    • Lisa

      Pippi Longstocking!

    • Amanda

      What does it mean if my favorite book/heroine was Matilda?